It's the first time prisoners' artwork went on display at the Whangarei Library Art Gallery.

It's the first time prisoners' artwork has been on display at the old Whangarei Library Art Gallery. And it has been a success. Many of the 40 pieces of prisoner artwork were sold - all the proceeds go back to the art programme at Northland Region Corrections Facility (NRCF)

Twelve prisoners created the works in NRCF's art programme. It’s the first time the prisoners’ artwork has gone on display at the gallery and local artists, businesses and Corrections staff were on hand for the opening on 9 December.

Rehabilitation and Employment Contracts and Services Manager Mark Lynds says the response has been positive. “The director of programmes from Northtec attended and was amazed at the skill level of the artists and noted they (the offenders) were already operating at a Diploma level,” he said.  

“We are looking forward to starting the Certificate programme in arts and visual design next year with Northtec. And we already sold several works on the first night - a good start.”

Mark said planning was under way for the InsideOut 5 art exhibition in Mairangi Bay on Auckland’s North Shore in March 2014, featuring more work from NRCF art participants with proceeds from that exhibition going to a charity chosen by the offenders.